holding 500k of these suckers, some from pre-AOS era, down about 50%

This developement could be beneficial by injecting a greater degree of urgency in the current board or by the upstarts coming in with fresh ideas and perhaps some significant heavy-weight partners, the details will be forthcoming, if not, then it is a frankly opportunistic ploy to access capital. 

It is clear that the few individuals who know how the AOS story plays out are the approval agency and local government/politicians and perhaps the delays are being manufactured for political purposes.  One of the most disappointing things is the lack of communication from AOS for the past year, a common feature with failing companies and guaranteed to lose loyalty from long suffering shareholders.